National Security correspondent, Washington DC
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Dec 14, 2011

West winning in Afghanistan, says U.S. defense chief

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are winning in Afghanistan, the U.S. defense chief said on Wednesday, despite spreading violence, a resilient insurgency and uncertain prospects for a peace deal the West had hoped might end a decade of war.

“I really think that for all the sacrifice that you’re doing, the reality is that it’s paying off,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told U.S. soldiers at Forward Operating Base Sharana, an outpost in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province.

Dec 13, 2011

Politics won’t determine Afghan drawdown: U.S. general

KABUL (Reuters) – The United States will make decisions about when and how fast to withdraw troops from Afghanistan based on military strategy rather than political mandates, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces there said on Tuesday.

The United States and its NATO allies are gradually drawing forces out of Afghanistan, and handing over security responsibilities to Afghan forces, as they seek to curtail their involvement in a long, costly war.

Dec 5, 2011

Fiscal crisis raises questions on future of Afghan aid

BONN (Reuters) – When world leaders gathered in Bonn in December 2001 to discuss Afghanistan’s future after the fall of the Taliban, it would have been hard to imagine that a decade and hundreds of billions of dollars later the country would still be mired in conflict and nowhere near able to pay for its own soldiers and bureaucrats.

An unprecedented Western aid effort since 2001 has made some major strides since the Taliban government’s repressive isolation, especially in improving health care and women’s rights and building roads and other infrastructure needed to nudge Afghanistan toward the global economy.

Dec 5, 2011

West’s Afghan resolve tested by economy, Pakistan, Iran

BONN (Reuters) – The West wants to use an Afghanistan meeting on Monday to signal enduring support for Kabul as allied troops head home, but economic turmoil in Europe and crises with Pakistan and Iran may prompt doubts about Western resolve.

The goal of Afghanistan’s international partners is to leave behind a government strong enough to escape the fate of its Soviet-era predecessor, which collapsed in 1992 in a civil war, and whose president was eventually captured and executed by the Taliban when they overran Kabul in 1996.

Dec 3, 2011

A decade on, what can U.S. accomplish in Afghanistan?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As senior U.S. officials head to a major meeting on Afghanistan next week, underlying their talks will be a simple question: what can Washington hope to accomplish there with fewer troops, less money, and less time?

U.S. objectives in Afghanistan are far more modest than they were in the months following the September 11 attacks, when the West hoped to replace the Taliban’s backwardness and brutality with a secure democracy at the crossroads of Asia.

Dec 3, 2011

Analysis – A decade on, what can U.S. accomplish in Afghanistan?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As senior U.S. officials head to a major meeting on Afghanistan next week, underlying their talks will be a simple question: what can Washington hope to accomplish there with fewer troops, less money, and less time?

U.S. objectives in Afghanistan are far more modest than they were in the months following the September 11 attacks, when the West hoped to replace the Taliban’s backwardness and brutality with a secure democracy at the crossroads of Asia.

Dec 1, 2011

Afghan meet will show confusion, not way forward

KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Next week’s Bonn conference on Afghanistan was supposed to offer a chance to renew Western commitment to stabilize the Asian nation as foreign troops head home after a decade battling the Taliban.

Instead it looks set to be a high-profile reminder of the West’s tortuous ties with a country where they have spent billions of dollars, and of Afghanistan’s uncertain future as NATO nations facing economic crisis at home try to pull loose from a costly war some believe can no longer be won outright.

Dec 1, 2011

Analysis: Afghan meet will show confusion, not way forward

KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Next week’s Bonn conference on Afghanistan was supposed to offer a chance to renew Western commitment to stabilize the Asian nation as foreign troops head home after a decade battling the Taliban.

Instead it looks set to be a high-profile reminder of the West’s tortuous ties with a country where they have spent billions of dollars, and of Afghanistan’s uncertain future as NATO nations facing economic crisis at home try to pull loose from a costly war some believe can no longer be won outright.

Nov 21, 2011

Diplomat to meet with Pakistani officials on memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior Pakistani officials will meet in Islamabad Tuesday with their envoy to the United States as controversy mounts over a mysterious memo that underscores the fraught ties between Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders.

A former U.S. government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s influential ambassador in Washington, would meet one on one in Islamabad with intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

Nov 3, 2011

Obama plows on with plans to end Iraq, Afghan wars

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American soldiers in Iraq are packing up military gear and shutting down bases as the United States races to remove all but a couple hundred troops by year’s end.

In Afghanistan, U.S. generals are scrambling to stretch a shrinking force to match enemy insurgents who remain dangerous and defiant after more than 10 years of war.

    • About Missy

      "Prior to heading the Mexico bureau, Missy was deputy bureau chief in Baghdad. She has also covered commodities in Washington, DC and worked in Peru, Argentina and Egypt for Reuters."
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